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10 New Chromecast Hidden Gems
Discover the lesser-known apps on Chromecast that may just be your new favorite.
Today, we're talking about hidden gems on the new Chromecast device. These are the apps that you have to dig a little deeper to find. I did another video a couple of weeks ago about the best 10 free Chromcast channels, and I would encourage you to check that out if you're unfamiliar with the free options. But, for today, we're talking about the apps that you might not have ever heard of.
First things first, how do you actually find apps on the new Google Chromecast? Well, from my home screen, I'm going to go to the Apps section and scroll down. You can see a bunch of featured apps, like Disney+, HBO Max, etc. And then Your Apps is the next row down. After that, you’ll find other recommendations.
So you can search by category or scroll down to find a section that looks interesting to you. It's a little bit clunky and might not be the best way to find the really good stuff. But the better way, honestly, is just to watch this video so that I can show you a few of the ones that I have found.
I'm going to click on See All because I'm going to skip all of the obvious stuff.
Chromecast with Google TV price and specs
Data effective 02/18/21. Prices and availability subject to change.
The first app that we're going to talk about is Old Movies. Someone asked me how I found Old Movies. Well, I found it with long, hard searching, but I really like it and I definitely recommend it.
The interesting thing about the Old Movies app is that it doesn't actually host any of these videos. These are movies that are available in the public domain and are free to watch in their entirety on YouTube. It is essentially aggregating a bunch of YouTube links, but it is an interesting way to organize all this stuff and to give you an idea of something to watch, if you like old classic stuff. So, for instance, if I want to watch Sword of Lancelot from 1963, I'm going to go ahead and hit Play Movie, and it opens up the YouTube app on my machine.
Obviously, you've got to have the YouTube app downloaded as well in order to make this work.
Next up is the Button Mapper app. I talked about this one in my Chromecast tips and tricks video, but I wanted to bring it up again because it really is a great help if you want your remote buttons to do something different.
For the most part, I think my remote is totally fine. I'm not going to remap my Google Voice Search button. I'm not going to remap the Home button or the Back button, whatever. But these two buttons down here, YouTube and Netflix, I don't really use as much as I use other apps.
I can remap them by going into the Button Mapper and going to Add Buttons. And I add the button I want to remap. And then you can tell it what to do with that button on a single tap, a double tap, or a long press. And there you go. Once you're all done with that, it is ready to fire. I can go back to my homepage, and when I single tap on Netflix, it actually brings up Disney+.
Let's get it back to some entertainment options here. Economist Films is a channel that I think you'll really enjoy if you like that kind of magazine, editorial style. It has a lot of news stories and a lot of documents.
I really enjoyed some of the stuff on here. Some of it wasn't quite to my taste, but I went down to a section called Future Works, and really enjoyed this one. I watched a little documentary that was about 20 minutes long about E-Sports Superstars. It was a lot of fun, actually.
So if you enjoy the Economist in print, because I'm sure that still exists, or if you read them all online, then definitely this channel is worth checking out.
If you're into sports, then go check out Barstool Sports. If you do like sports, if you're a sports fanatic, I'm sure you've already heard of Barstool. Well, they have their own app available for download here on this Android TV or Google TV platform. There's a lot here to go through. But my favorite section would probably be the Barstool Rundown that you can watch every day just to get their daily take on stuff.
Next up is TuneIn. You may have heard of TuneIn, but I really like it as an app for my TV in case I want to listen to podcasts. But you can also get some FM radio stations on here as well.
It can have your local stations, so it'll ask you for your location. Then you can go up to Browse and look for featured podcasts and shows. If there's something specific that you're looking for, then you go all the way up to Search and it will allow you to find just about anything that has been submitted to the large feeds.
TuneIn is great if you want to have something playing on your TV, but you're not necessarily sitting down and watching. Maybe you're doing the dishes or some other chore, and you want to just have something in the background, then make sure you have TuneIn.
Next up is Free Documentary. What could that be about? Well, it's pretty self explanatory. It's a bunch of free documentaries. Let's see what we've got here. Some of these are satisfying and really straight forward. This series is called Blow Down, and it's about demolishing buildings, essentially. It's exactly what you would expect.
I really like this particular app for my son who loves machines and trucks and giant boats. So we watched this documentary about how they shipped a wind farm from Germany to China, and they had to build a special boat for it. That full documentary is here on the app. It's all free to watch, and it is fantastic, if you're into this sort of thing.
If you're a sci-fi fan, you’ll want to check out Dust. This is sci-fi shorts, for the most part. They do have some longer stuff, but most of it is going to fall between five and twenty minutes long, and it is actually really decent quality stuff. It's got actors and directors that you have heard of. Many that you haven't.
You can go in and watch for free. You don't have to sign in. If you do sign in, you can save a list of things you’re watching. But you don't have to do that. You can watch these Dust films. If I go to View All, it's going to show me everything.
Like I said, there are some faces that you'll recognize. There's Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black, Rachel McAdams and George Clooney show up in some deep fake thing. A lot of it is, in my experience, going to be a Black Mirror–style sci-fi experience. Not all of it though. But anyway, if that sounds like it's going to ring your bell, then definitely make sure you download Dust. I find myself in here more often than I thought that I would, if I'm being honest.
Next up, if you like Pluto TV, there’s a similar app called Airy TV. If you find yourself scrolling all the way through Pluto TV and you can't quite find something to watch, then make sure you check out Airy. It's structured like a cable programming setup where you've got different channels airing things at specific times. So this is not on-demand stuff. It's going to be structured as a live program.
Now, are you going to find actual cable channels on here? No, definitely not. If Pluto TV is the B-team stuff, then Airy is definitely more like C-team stuff. But, honestly, sometimes that's exactly what you're looking for, and they do have good shows and movies that they show every once in a while. They pull them in from other sources and make them available for you to watch here on a timed basis. But sometimes all you want is a little bit of noise around the house, and this is going to provide that for you. Airy TV is a good companion to Pluto.
All right, back on the useful side of things: Daily Workouts is a good fit if you find yourself lacking a little motivation, and you want something to workout to, but you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on Peloton or interactive software. Daily Workouts is incredibly simple. There is a premium version, but this free version is going to give you six categories that you can go through for quick exercises.
I can tell it, "I want to work out for 10 minutes. I want to do workout number one." And then when I hit play, it simply shows me a person doing the exercise, and I can workout along with them, and it's going to time it for 10 minutes and run me through a bunch of different exercises.
It's not interactive, it's not fancy, but if you just want something to get your butt off the couch, this is going to help you out with that.
The last app that we're going to go through is Neverthink, and boy, is that an appropriate name. But this one is fun. If you enjoy internet memes, then Neverthink is exactly that. It is a non-stop loop of quick internet videos and memes for you to watch. Again, this is background stuff. I imagine if I owned a restaurant or something, or if I just needed something playing in the background, this might be a fun one to use.
Data effective 02/18/21. Prices and availability subject to change.
So there you have it: 10 hidden gems for Chromecast. I hope there was something in there that you'll find interesting and something that will help your experience here on the new Google Chromecast. These are all ones that I'm not going to be deleting anytime soon because I do find a use for them.
If I missed any of your favorites, go ahead and hit the comments below. I'd love to hear them. Or if you try any of these and you really like or hate them, hit the comments with that.